Mike Shepard, of Fort Leonard Wood, was recently promoted from the rank of staff sergeant to sergeant first class in the Missouri Army National Guard.

Shepard has been with the Missouri Guard for 16 years after six years in the Army Reserve. He received the promotion after taking a full-time, active-Guard position as the readiness noncommissioned officer for the 335th Area Route Clearance Platoon at Rolla. He had been the full-time, active-Guard supply sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 35th Engineer Brigade, of Fort Leonard Wood for the previous four years.

"It's an opportunity to further my career and to perform different duties as a full-time member of the staff," Shepard said of the promotion. "I've enjoyed working in logistics for the engineer brigade for the past four years, but am ready for new challenges."

Shepard earned the promotion through being a professional and dedicated noncommissioned officer, said Lt. Col. Craig Gatzemeyer, brigade administrative officer.

"Sgt. 1st Class Shepard has distinguished himself among his peers," Gatzemeyer said. "His work with the 35th Engineer Brigade always received exemplary marks on inspections and command visits. He is a dedicated and thoroughly prepared noncommissioned officer who is well deserving of the promotion."

A 1991 graduate of Lamar High School, Shepard is supported in his military career by his wife, Janet, and two sons, Sean, 7, and Ian, 5.

Shepard said he and his family plan to move to the Rolla area in the near future to be closer to his new job.